What an obvious statement, right? If you’ve spent anytime in the church, my hope is that you know Jesus loves all people. Does that mean he’s in relationship with all people? No. But he does love all people and wants them to be in relationship with him.
However, what we often see as we look at the different generations, is a regular occurrence that the older generation does not expect much from the generation following it. Often the stereotype around younger generations is partnered with carelessness, immaturity, and sometimes worse.
So, as a student ministry filled with the next generation, we decided to look at 1 Timothy 4:12 and see what it says about young people. In this book we see Timothy who is the pastor of a rather large church and his mentor, Paul, is telling him to not let anyone look down on him because of his age. Partnered with this, we also see him then give a framework for how to lead the generation behind him AND the generation ahead of him. Paul gives Timothy the recipe to change the way that an older generation might perceive him as a leader.
Simple, Paul tells Timothy to set the example in five different ways:
- and Purity
If our students and this next generation of teenagers begin to step up to the plate and realize that they are not “the future of the church” but the PRESENT church and see that Jesus LOVES young people and that they can have direct impact NOW, then they can begin to change the way that older generations view them.
No longer will the expectation be for teenagers to be selfish, illegally drink, party, and get themselves into compromising relationships. Rather the older generations will see them as an asset, as leaders, and welcome them to the table to change their communities and their world.
But we must follow the example that Timothy sets for us as he follows Paul’s advice on how to lead. For teenagers to live a life that leads with Jesus at the heart of it all, they will need to take the previous five things to heart.
How will you EXPECT MUCH of your teenager this week and encourage them to set an example in those powerful ways as they change their schools, Graham, and our world.